I recently received a bottle of wine as a present. The wine is from Israel and certified kosher but I was concerned because the Mashgiach is not one normally engaged in this work. When I spoke to the importer (a well known Jewish importer of wines worldwide) they told me that they had decided to sever their relationship with this winery. They would not specifically say that is was due to the nature of the hashgacha. My question is what can I do with this wine? Can I give it to a goy (I didn’t think there is an issur of enabling someone to make wine Nesech), can I give to a non-observant Jew?
A freilechen Purim!

Answer:

If the wine has a hashgachah, and there is no reason do doubt the worthiness of the mashgiach (though he may not be renowned for wines), the wine is permitted to drink mi’ikar ha’din. Only when the hashgachah is known to be flawed would it not be permitted to drink the wine. In this case, although you are concerned, and therefore wish to be stringent for yourself, there would not appear to be enought cause for stringency with regrards to others, and it would be permitted to give it away to a Jew. Giving it to a non-Jew would also normally be permitted.

Sources: Unless there is reason to doubt the hashgachah, the principle of eid echad ne’eman be’isurim applies. Concerning giving to a non-Jew, see Tosafos (Avodah Zarah 20a; Eiruvim 64b), ruling that for a non-Jew that one is acquainted with, there is no prohibition of lo techanem.

Tags: gift Jew lo techanem non-Jew present wine

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